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The power of fear

It's tough to survive in Indian politics. And we aren't hinting at cut-throat competition alone!

india Updated: Aug 03, 2010 22:26 IST

Andrew S. Grove may not admit it, but we are fairly certain what inspired him to write his iconic book Only The Paranoid Survive. He must have surreptitiously studied the habits of our very own netas, the sly dog, and kept it to himself because he didn't want to give credit where credit is due. The fact that J. Jayalalithaa, AIADMK supremo is among us is only because she discerned early in her career a threat from varied quarters like the LTTE, rival DMK, her mentor MGR's wife and, of course, that old bogeyman, the CBI. Had she not declared that any or all of the following may do her in, would she be reading War and Peace in peace today?

Or Grove may have seen how the Trinamool Congress' Mamata Banerjee has the antenna of a cold war spy when it comes to threat perception. No sooner does a train accident take place, she is the first to tell us that this is part of a larger international communist plot to do away with her. The commies have gone to the extent of introducing roaches into railway food hoping she might drop in for a bite some day. Behenji routinely detects threats to her bejeweled personage and the source is dealt with firmly with a whack in the snout from her doughty handbag. Her rival Mulayam Singh Yadav sees all sorts of threats, some in the shape of an incoming Amar-shaped missile. And it is our duty to allay these fears so that they may continue to enrich us with their ever more innovative survival tactics.

We only wish we had access to their resources, sorry, our resources, to devise ways to keep danger at bay. In case you don't hear from us for a few days, don't worry. We're getting a feeling that we're being watched. When this disquieting feeling passes, we'll be back with more tips on how to survive the paranoia of our netas.